5 Reasons Why You Should… Get your CDL and Become a Truck Driver

 

Truck drivers are needed in every city, in every state across the U.S. The transportation industry keeps this country moving, and without truckers to transport all of the goods we purchase, life would come to a screeching halt. The demand for truck drivers continues to grow as more drivers near retirement age, and as we continue to spread across the US.

So, why should you get your CDL and become a truck driver? Here are our Top 5 Reasons why this just might be the perfect career for you!

Top 5 Reasons to become a truck driver1. You like to drive. Being in control of a large vehicle can be exciting for some, and daunting for others. If driving is fun for you, life as a truck driver can be both challenging and relaxing. What a better way to earn a living than by traveling the roads and seeing the sights this great nation has to offer.

2. You remain calm under pressure. The situations you will face as a truck driver vary from severe weather conditions to overwhelming road construction, or heavy traffic. And, you can run into these things at any time on the road. However, if you have a patient manner and are able to keep a clear head when unexpected issues come your way, problems like these can actually be fun challenges for you.

3. You hate the 9 to 5 routine. Let’s face it, sitting in an office every day staring at the same cubicle walls isn’t for everyone. And, luckily, there are many options when it comes to driving a truck. You can drive for a smaller local company, take on a regional route with plenty of home time, or take it OTR (over the road) and travel from state to state to state. If the idea of the ordinary 9 to 5 job puts a bad taste in your mouth, a truck driving career could be the ideal solution.

4. You don’t want to get a four-year degree & you don’t want to spend money training. Starting a career as a truck driver doesn’t require spending four years in college, and even more time paying off thousands in student loan debt. Many CDL schools participate in tuition reimbursement or financial assistance programs – some een offer programs specific to military veterans and their family members – that will cover the costs of your training, saving you time and money.

5. You want to get paid well. A career in the trucking industry can mean you finally bring home a steady paycheck, receive health benefits, and even get retirement options. There are countless drivers who have driven millions of safe, accident free miles who have made a living hauling goods around the nation. If you are willing to put in the work for this career, it can lead you down many different roads.

Starting a career as a truck driver is a great option if you are looking for something out of the ordinary and aren’t afraid of hard work. There are hundreds of reasons why getting your CDL is a great idea, but you have to go with your gut.

If you’re reading this, you are clearly considering the career for one reason or another, and you probably have a ton of questions. Talk to someone in the trucking industry to see if it is right for you. Give us a call or come out and visit our campus locations. Stop by a recruiter presentation and learn what different trucking companies offer their new drivers. We are ready when you are!

Take the Next Step >> Contact Us!

2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – Event Schedule

 

The 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is coming up in just a few short days! Will you be attending any of the events this year?

Here is the schedule of events:
(for more information, visit www.ppihc.com)

  • Monday, June 22 
    • Technical Inspection
  • Tuesday, June 23 
    • Sanctioned Practice – Pikes Peak
  • Wednesday, June 24 
    • Qualifying/Practice – Pikes Peak
  • Thursday, June 25
    • Qualifying/Practice – Pikes Peak
  • Friday, June 26
    • Qualifying/Practice – Pikes Peak // Fan Fest, Downtown Colorado Springs
  • Sunday, June 28
    • RACE DAY! Pikes Peak

 

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, 2015

In 1806, Lt. Zebulon Pike said the mountain would never be scaled by man. But today, Pikes Peak has been climbed by tourists from all over the world in cars, on horseback, on foot, on motorcycle and bicycle.

But, in 1900 a carriage road was constructed, and in August 1901 two men named Yont and Felker were the first to drive to the top in a two-cylinder Locomobile Steamer – which took over nine hours by driving and pushing their vehicle! In 1915 the road was converted into the Pikes Peak Highway. To publicize this new road, Spencer Penrose (one of Colorado Springs’ city’s major benefactors) decided to run an automobile race to the summit on the new highway. One year later, in 1916, the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb was first held.

Since that first race, drivers have been challenged by the winding road and the rapidly changing weather. Though race day might start out beautiful and sunny, drivers may very well encounter rain, thunder, wind, fog, or even snow on their way up. Fitting that the race event is often called “The Race to the Clouds.”

The first Pikes Peak Champion was 22-year old Rea Lentz from Washington. His Romano Demon Special was the smallest car entered and he was the youngest driver. His time was 20 minutes, 55.6 seconds. After his win, he was never heard from again by anyone associated with the race. Today men and women from all over compete in the race to the top in cars, trucks, or motorcycles.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motorsports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.  The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit. Not much else has changed since that first race in 1916. The road is now completely paved, and some parts have been widened which has attracted drivers from all over the world to race and compete in one of the most grueling courses known to the world of racing.

For more history on this amazing 98 year old event, visit www.ppihc.com/ppihc-history/
Get your PPIHC tickets! or See the latest results!

 

Here’s why training at a Denver CDL school is so important to your driving career.

 

How important can one little slip of paper be? Very, if you’re just finishing up Denver CDL school, because that means you are almost ready to take the CDL exam. What does the CDL exam do, you may ask? Well, if you pass it, you become a licensed holder of a commercial driver’s license, which becomes the most important piece of paper in your wallet.

And why is that? Because that’s the document that shows that you finished Denver CDL school, and that you are licensed and ready to pursue employment. That is essentially your license to work as a commercial driver.

See how important it is now?

So the pursuit of that particular slip of paper starts at Denver CDL school, and continues for up to 3 months as you learn to drive a commercial vehicle and gain the expertise you need in order to safely operate it on the roads, in traffic with other drivers zipping around you.

Safety is of utmost importance, as is driving skill and the ability to follow the traffic laws as they pertain to commercial driving. This is an important part of Denver CDL school, and one that you will need to know. Be sure as you are pursuing your CDL license you know those rules.

Also, the main thrust of Denver CDL school is the learning how to drive the vehicle. There are a lot of aspects to driving a big truck that are significantly different than driving a normal commuter vehicle. Don’t assume that just because you can drive a car, that a tractor trailer will be a piece of cake. Turn radii, controls, and a variety of other factors make that different than driving a normal car.

So your CDL is more than a simple slip of paper. It’s an official document that attests that the government attesting to your ability to safely drive a tractor trailer, bus, construction vehicle, or some other large commercial vehicle. It allows you to legally operate these vehicles, which means you can legally pursue and obtain employment operating these vehicles, and that you have completed Denver CDL school to such a degree that you are qualified to perform these tasks.

One thing that many recipients of a CDL do not take into account, though, is that they can also receive endorsements on their license. Endorsements qualify you to perform specialized tasks that the government deems too difficult, too dangerous, or too complex to perform without additional training.

Endorsements are a part of Denver CDL school that sometimes people unfortunately overlook. Endorsements are an important part of being a truck driver and offer you increased flexibility in your skillset, and give you the chance to potentially gain a little advantage over those who don’t have endorsements on their license.

Be sure to pursue at least a couple of endorsements while you’re in Denver CDL school. Some experts recommend you try to receive all of them, since they are relatively inexpensive to take and, while they require an additional exam, are not excessively difficult to pass once you have the normal components of the CDL exam mastered.

So are you ready for Denver CDL school? Do you want to find your career path now, or are you still wanting to wait? Depending on your situation, the wait may not be the best thing for you, as the longer you wait, the more you fall behind. If you are in a position to go into Denver CDL school now, there isn’t much reason to not go for it!

So gather yourself up, find out where you stand, and get started on Denver CDL school. Your time has come, and there’s no reason to wait. Many schools now offer evening and weekend courses so that you can shuffle around your work and family commitments in order to attend. If you’re ready to start that career in commercial driving, it’s not difficult to get started!

Commercial driving is for many people a fun, rewarding career path full of interesting people, great journeys, and a fulfilling, meaningful work day. So let’s get started, and start down the path to being a commercial vehicle driver!

You just completed Denver CDL school, what’s next? Top career picks for those with a CDL.

 

You just completed Denver CDL school. What do you do next?

Well, that all depends on what you are wanting to do now. If you are looking at starting a career as a financial advisor, then you probably need to go back to school. And why were you going to Denver CDL school if you aren’t going to use it anyway?

So let’s assume that you are in fact looking to use the training you just received, and that Denver CDL school is your path to a career in commercial driving. Hopefully by now you know the industry you’re looking to get into. There are several you can choose from when you have earned a commercial driver’s license, first and foremost of them is a job driving a truck. Getting into the shipping industry is a good way to earn a living these days.

As the economy continues to rebound, the shipping and trucking industries are also rebounding, taking on additional employees and contractors to fill those jobs. That means for people who have completed Denver CDL school and have earned their CDL license, there is a job market full of opportunity.

That by no means is an indication that you will get a quick job or that you are entitled to employment simply because you have a CDL. There are several factors that go into making an employable truck driver, and you really should make sure you have those qualities before you begin looking for jobs.

Another potential career spot for people who have completed Denver CDL school is bus driving. City buses, school buses and tour buses, to say nothing of luxury liners and interstate motor coaches, all need people to man that particular ship. The good thing about bus driving is that there are some major differences in the styles involved in all of those types of buses.

As a bus driver, you can alternatively have a busy city route with bustling businesspeople and workers looking to get to their jobs, you can be responsible for about 50 children and getting them to school safely, you can conduct leisurely sightseeing tours, or you can travel the open roads, taking people to and fro as they look for a new life, take a vacation, or start a new job.

The flexibility of the job is one of the main benefits of pursuing bus driver training. It gives you career options and an ability to have a fresh perspective on the same job simply by what type of bus you choose.

Next, you can go into the construction industry, perhaps the biggest deviation from the norm for Denver CDL school, construction vehicles. Let’s face it. As kids we all loved playing in the dirt, and as a construction driver you are doing it for a living. Haulers, dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes, steamrollers, they all need have qualified workers operating them. You get to haul dirt, move it around, smash it, push it, and scoop it, helping the creation of a new structure that makes a positive contribution to the community.

There are other jobs you can get after finishing Denver CDL school, including parcel and package delivery driver, furniture delivery driver, and many others. They all employ unique skills that you can be sure will help make your CDL experience worthwhile and entertaining. When you are working on Denver CDL school, you should begin thinking which of these (or other) industries you may be interested in getting into, and try to skew your training in that direction slightly.

If you aren’t going to be a truck driver, it would pay to not have to drive the truck, but you can practice on another type of vehicle maybe. It is nice to map out a plan and provide yourself the path to employment and career success. It starts at Denver CDL school, and it ends with the beginning of your career. Do you want to find that success, or do you want to continue to wander aimlessly, looking for your path? That choice is yours, but if you want to maximize what you get out of Denver CDL school, you would be well served to make a plan.

Are you ready for a career in trucking? Ask yourself these questions.

 

Where do you go when you aren’t ready for Denver CDL school? What if you know that someday you are going to pursue a career in the trucking industry, but you aren’t sure if you’re quite ready for it?

It’s as fair a question as any, I suppose. You think Denver CDL school holds the key to your future, but you are scared. What if I’m not ready, you ask yourself. What do I do, and where do I go, when the time isn’t right for me to start my training to become a tractor trailer driver, someone who will contribute to the success of the economy and provide a solid service while doing it?

It may take a lot of thinking, and it certainly takes a few more questions. Where are you in your life? Are you still in school? Do you have a career currently that you are unhappy with? Do you think a change in your life would be a good thing?

And there are more: what is your family situation? Do you have a home? A car? What are your career aspirations, and how will Denver CDL school get you there?

These are all pertinent questions and help contribute to the answer to your question, because they are factors in whether you should pursue Denver CDL school or not.

Before we answer this question, though, let’s briefly go over exactly what Denver CDL school is and what it does for you. Denver CDL school. Commercial driving is driving a vehicle for a living, usually a large truck or similar vehicle, for the purpose of hauling some type of cargo. Many times that cargo is comprised of goods that will be bought or sold or otherwise traded, or it could be people (in the case of a bus driver).

In order to legally drive a commercial vehicle (subject to limitations of gross vehicle weight rating), the driver must possess a commercial driver’s license, which can only be obtained after Denver CDL school, then by passing an examination that tests the student’s ability to drive and understand the traffic laws and regulations. Once the student passes the exam, he or she is awarded a commercial driver’s license and is able to pursue employment as a commercial driver.

Okay, so, now the question on your mind: where do you go, what do you do when you know that you want to attend Denver CDL school but aren’t sure you’re ready. The answer to that question is quite simple: go to Denver CDL school.

That’s right. Go to Denver CDL school, and get started. If you know you want to go, are of the legal age and meet the health, vision, and hearing requirements, then by all means don’t wait any longer. If you want a career in commercial driving, then you don’t have any time to mess around. Your career is waiting, and you ARE ready.

So if you think driving a semi truck, a bus, a limousine, or another type of large commercial vehicle is in your future, why are you waiting? Why aren’t you ready? Those are the real questions you should be asking yourself. If you can’t come up with a suitable answer, such as you’re having a surgical procedure done that will limit your eyesight, or you have a broken leg that you need to heal, or you’re due a large bonus at your job and have to wait a month before you leave it, then you ARE ready.

You’re ready because you know that Denver CDL school is a solid career path for you and will allow you to do something you enjoy while making a positive contribution to society. That is what we are all looking for, isn’t it? A job that allows us to support ourselves and our families while doing something rewarding and worthwhile that we actually like to do?

If you have identified your career track, and know you want to do it, then chances are good you are indeed ready for it. You shouldn’t wait for “the right time.” The right time is now. Go after your dreams, and make it happen.

Top 4 questions to ask yourself about attending a Denver CDL school training program

 

When you are applying for enrollment to Denver CDL school, it’s important to keep several things in mind. You’re making a decision on your future, and it’s of extreme importance to you personally to keep these factors in mind as you begin the process of starting this job training.

It’s always going to be difficult to know for sure if you’re making the right decision in anything you do. Everyone has “what if?” questions from time to time, and in your career, especially if you have had a long personal struggle with the permanency of your choice, a little creeping self-doubt is sure to pop in.

We can’t really help with the “what ifs,” but these will help you determine if you’re making a sound decision, or if you should drop the idea of Denver CDL school and go do something else.

Is this really what you want to do? Up until the first day of Denver CDL school, you should ask yourself this question. Don’t be scared of the answer, even if you are 100 percent sure this is the track for you. If your reasoning and decision is sound, the answer will always be “yes.” If it’s not, then you should re-evaluate. Honesty with yourself is first and foremost in making a career decision. Doing it for any other reason that you love this and want to do this as a career is dangerous and potentially harmful to you. Do it because you want to, not because you have to or you think you should.

How will I get through this? What do you have in your life that might stand in the way of you succeeding at Denver CDL school? Do you have family commitments, do you have work, or some other standing responsibility that could interfere with your ability to successfully complete this program? If so, be sure you have taken into account how you are going to work around those responsibilities in order to get a full grasp on Denver CDL school and be able to complete the program.

What will I do when this is done? Many people go off to college without much of a plan as to what they want to do when they graduate. In a four-year program that is okay; you have time to decide and plan, though that planning had better start relatively soon after you arrive. Denver CDL school runs between six and 12 weeks; there is little time to decide what to do. So go through your options: you can drive a tractor trailer, a bus (of any variety: school, city, tour, or motor coach), you can go into the construction industry and operate their heavy machinery, or gravitate toward one of the many other industries that require the use of a CDL, such as a parcel or package delivery service.

Here is where I start concentrating. While you may have those other responsibilities, when you are in Denver CDL school, you are concentrating only on Denver CDL school. That goes for any study time going over the traffic laws and regulations or when you are in the truck practicing. If you want to be successful, you have to set yourself up for that success, and devoting yourself to your studies is important no matter what kind of school you are in.

No one cares whether you get through Denver CDL school – except YOU. So make it so that you are sure you do get through!

Of course, you have people rooting for you: your parents, a significant other, family members and friends. But this is an experience for you. It’s your career, and whether you are successful in this endeavor or not should be more important to no one other than yourself. Denver CDL school is your baby, as they say, and you should have the most to win or lose by it.

Your Denver CDL school experience hinges upon your desire to see it completed, and your ability to devote yourself to that experience. By keeping these things in mind when you are beginning your journey through Denver CDL school, you help ensure your own success, and that you can move on to earn your CDL and become a professional commercial driver.

Looking to become a bus driver? Here’s where you begin.

 

You’ve always thought it would be fun to become a city bus driver, and you’re in a position now where it may be a good idea to give it a go. So what do you do? In Denver CDL school is you best option.

Of course, by “best option” we mean “only option,” as Denver CDL school is required for people who wish to become a commercial vehicle driver of any type. In the case of bus driving, if you wish to seek employment legally driving a vehicle that can carry 16 or more passengers, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license before obtaining that employment.

While this may seem like an inconvenient truth for many, it is actually not as difficult as you might think. Denver CDL school does require some work and some study, but if you apply yourself through the comparatively short training program (which is to say as compared to many academic programs which require potentially years of study), the 6 to 12 weeks of Denver CDL school doesn’t seem quite so daunting.

So where to start? When you’re looking to become a bus driver, Denver CDL school is of course where you start. Find a school near you. There is bound to be one, as there are CDL training facilities all around. If you live in a large urban or suburban area, chances are you will find more than one.

If that is what ends up happening, it would be a good idea to comparison shop just a little bit. Visit two or three Denver CDL schools in your area and compare them against each other. Find out the speed at which each school operates and match it to your learning style. Do you catch on quickly, or do you usually require a more deliberate approach to internalize new concepts? That is important when you’re choosing a Denver CDL school.

Next, this is a clever little trick that, if you pull it off, may not only help you find the right Denver CDL school, but it could help you gain an inside track on employment as well. Here’s how it works: approach people in the industry about the schools you are considering. See if you can track down a recent graduate, a current student, and at least one employer.

Find out each’s thoughts on the school and its quality. The employer, though, is key: be sure in your message to identify yourself as a prospective bus driver and let them know you are interested in working in that capacity at the conclusion of your training. Try to go back and forth a couple of times and make sure you’re known to the employer. Get his or her honest thoughts on the schools you are considering and find out if any of them have a reputation for being either a particularly good or bad school.

When you are done, thank him or her and make it known that when it comes time for you to find a job in the next couple of months you would love to be considered. Even if that particular employer doesn’t have an opening when you complete Denver CDL school, you may still have a networking contact in the industry and it may lead to a job somewhere down the road.

The same goes for the current and former students. Making friends with people in the industry can only be good for you, so make sure you develop a few contacts!

That goes for classmates as well. Be sure you go into Denver CDL school not just looking to get your education. You can choose to look at your classmates as adversaries in the job hunt, which in a sense they are, or you can look at them as potential colleagues. Being friendly with other students and helping them as you receive help from them can lead to friendships that can lead to job opportunities down the road. Even if they beat you out for a job, if months down the road more hires are going to be made there, your friend can get you the inside track.

Use your Denver CDL school to your advantage completely!

Take the next step: What to do after completing Colorado Springs CDL school, passing exam

 

Do you want Colorado Springs CDL school to provide you the training for your new career?

What do you want to do for a living? Do you want to be a truck driver, a bus driver, or work in construction? Where does your heart lie when it comes to commercial driving?

Many people may think they want to take up commercial vehicle driving as a stopgap, but it is a viable career option for many people. After all, why go to the trouble of Colorado Springs CDL school if you aren’t going to use it for more than a year or two?

There are career paths within the commercial driving industry, and if you would take a moment to explore them, you would see that you have an instant career setup and the ability to move up over time. That is what you should be looking at when it comes to a career.

Colorado Springs CDL school is a great option for people who want to latch on to a solid career and launch the trajectory of that career starkly upward. You will start at your CDL academy and after a short time learning to drive (the typical length of a CDL program is 6 to 12 weeks).

Once that is over, you will be ready to test what you have learned in your time at Colorado Springs CDL school by passing the CDL exam. This exam is a comprehensive test of your abilities behind the wheel of a truck on open roadways, as well as your understanding of the traffic laws and rules and regulations that govern the industry. You will need to know all of this, and be able to demonstrate your proficiency in this craft in order to show you have the know-how necessary to find success in this industry.

After you have completed Colorado Springs CDL school, then passed the CDL exam, the time will be here to begin applying for jobs and seeking your employment future! Depending on the area in which you are seeking employment, you have several options for employment.

If you want to go into the trucking industry, you should begin applying to shipping companies, trucking companies, and other places that employ truck drivers. Parcel services often employ a great number of truck drivers, so you may look to apply with them as well. The object here is the cast a wide net, and take advantage of any contacts you may have as well.

If you are looking to become a bus driver, apply at the local Department of Transportation, school systems, and busing companies. There are also companies that seek to hire tour bus drivers, and you should seek those types of jobs out as well.

Be sure you tout your Colorado Springs CDL school experiences when you apply, and you should spend some time working on your resume and cover-letter writing (be sure you go online and read up on strategies for improving your resume and cover letters as well!). You’ll need those skills to help boost your chances at landing an interview (and you should be sure to also have interview-appropriate clothing including a shirt and tie as well, and read up on interview skills while you’re at it).

You’ll find that you will make the most use of Colorado Springs CDL school if you actually land a job, right? So make sure you are doing these things and give yourself to use your CDL education to its fullest potential.

Your career in the commercial driving industry begins here at US Truck Driving School, a great Colorado Springs CDL school, so make the most of this time while you can. Remember that you are here to develop your skills and make the most of developing those skills. Your time in training is valuable, so don’t squander it by not paying attention, or by not taking seriously the work you are doing. Put your full effort into school, and make sure you are going the full distance when you go after your career. There is no prize for second place, and there is no reason for you to fool around and not maximize your learning and working potential.

Lose the stress and begin the success: How to make it through your Colorado Springs CDL training program

 

You have been waiting for your opportunity your whole life, and now the time has come. You are ready to enroll in Colorado Springs CDL school and begin the training of your lifetime.

How do you feel about that? It’s normal to feel some pressure and have some nerves on the eve of such a life-transforming experience. Many of us feel it, but that’s okay. That’s part of the process of internalizing your feelings and preparing yourself.

It all ties into your preparation for your career. When you have a legitimate stake in something, when you care about something, you have a natural fear of botching your chance at getting and/or keeping it. That is a normal human reaction, and you are perfectly correct in feeling trepidation at the start of something as important as your career.

Many of us have those nightmares where we do something to lose our jobs and are forced to do something else for a living. Many of us have nightmares of not being able to provide for our families. Again, a perfectly normal reaction. Just remember that you are starting Colorado Springs CDL school in order to do just that.

How many of us have dreams that it’s the last class of the semester and you realize you haven’t been to class at all throughout the semester? Having nerves on the eve of starting Colorado Springs CDL school is a similar mental process. Your fear of failure, combined perhaps with a touch of excitement about how close you are to meeting your dreams, is evoking a response in you.

So you have two choices: avoid Colorado Springs CDL school. Don’t go there. After all, you’ll be so nervous you won’t be able to do anything right. People will laugh at you, and you will be humiliated. So just stay away. Don’t go.

The second is go into Colorado Springs CDL school and use those nerves to your advantage. Pay attention, take a deep breath, and concentrate on the work. You will most likely feel those nerves go away as you get into your studies, and eventually you’ll settle into a routine.

Which of these two approaches will serve you better in Colorado Springs CDL school? If you said the second, you’re right. It’s a no-brainer, right? If you just don’t show up your first day of Colorado Springs CDL school and never go, you’ll never achieve your dream of earning a commercial driver’s license, and you’ll never take the CDL exam, and you’ll never find employment as a commercial vehicle driver.

That’s right: no truck driving. No bus driving. No career using a CDL. Of course, you can always do something else, right? But what will you do about your nerves for the next thing?

Of course, the second option’s most likely destination is success. If you apply yourself, let the stress trickle away, and just focus on your work, you’ll find you are having success and the stress will go away, replaced by a sense of excitement that you’re actually doing it!

Of course, having that success is an exhilarating feeling, and takes your negative stress, which is called distress in the psychology world, and turns it into positive stress, which is known as eustress. You can use eustress to your advantage as a positive and actually focus more and be more energetic and excited about your upcoming career change.

So that’s a little primer on stress and on getting started in your new trucking career. If you experience this type of stress when you start a new endeavor, resolve to not let it bother you any more and make it work for you. It can certainly help you have a positive experience at Colorado Springs CDL school, and instead of distracting you, it can actually serve as motivation to make you an even better student, and help you jump start your new career even more effectively.

So lose the stress and begin the success! Your Colorado Springs CDL school experience is ready to start, and your career is within reach. Stay the course and get your career started today.

Daimler unveils new autonomous self-driving truck this week

 

Daimler’s “Inspiration” is the first ever autonomous, self-driving semi truck licensed to drive on Nevada’s highway system. It was debuted this week Tuesday, at an event atop the Hoover Dam, that included a night drive across the dam – driver included (this time).

However, Daimler isn’t quite ready to start taking customer orders for the truck, and they said they have no intention of ditching real-life drivers. Instead, truck drivers would become more on an on-board logistics manager, keeping things running on track.

“We’re far from that. We’re just getting people inspired,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management of Daimler AG.

Freightliner unveils its Inspiration self-driving truck during an event at the Hoover Dam (AP Photo/John Locher)

Freightliner unveils its Inspiration self-driving truck during an event at the Hoover Dam (AP Photo/John Locher)

Though, if the company was in logistics business, the truck could be used for shipping goods on the highways between Reno and Las Vegas, due to it’s automated state license. For now, Inspiration will be used only for additional testing, and of course showing off what the truck can already do.

For years, companies have been testing different autonomous technology in passenger vehicles – including blind spot warnings, automatic parallel parking, and break assist – to name a few.

With a autonomous, self-driving vehicle – especailly one as large as a semi truck – there are many questions that aren’t yet answered. Daimler Trucks North America president and CEO Martin Daum said society might forgive a number of deaths caused by tired truck drivers at the wheel but they would never forgive a single fatal crash blamed on a fully automated big rig.

Still, “we believe that before passenger cars will be cruising around in suburbs, long before that, you will be seeing heavy trucks running on the interstate highways,” Bernhard said. There are no intersections, no red lights, no pedestrians, he said, making it a far less complex trip for a truck to make.

The company, however, said they have no intention of ditching real-life drivers – instead the driver would be more of an on-board logistics manager.

For now, only four states certify testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads – as long as there is a human driver behind the wheel. Other states have shown interest in allowing such tests, but in the end, proper testing will take more than just a few random states. Bernhard believes more states need to allow for testing of these autonomous vehicles. When neighboring states allow for this type of autonomous vehicle, it starts to make sense to more and more customers who could benefit from the technology.

Information for this article was taken from Kimberly Pierceall’s AP article, Daimler’s self-driving big rig makes big entrance in Nevada, published May. 6, 2015 8:25 AM EDT